07 Mar TSA rule change: Knives down, shoes must go
You know, I’m just thrilled that air travelers will soon be permitted to carry small knives, hockey sticks and golf clubs on board airplanes. Now all those parents coming home from Disneyland or Disney World won’t have to toss out their harmless souvenirs for their kids. And the would-be MacGyvers among us won’t be rendered defenseless now that they can bring Swiss Army knives and other bladed instruments on board again. You never know when they will come in handy. In episode 134, MacGyver used one to slide down a canvas backdrop. And in episode 45, he used the small blade of a knife to open a case.
In addition to small knives with blades that are less than 2.36 inches, the new TSA policy announced yesterday also now allows hockey and lacrosse sticks, up to two golf clubs and toy bats on board aircraft. The liberalization of the agency’s strict policies takes effect next month.
Here’s what I want to TSA to do. Get rid of the shoe-removal requirement. It’s inconvenient. It limits one’s outfit options when the fab lace-up boots get kicked to the curb because of the time it takes to lace and unlace them. And don’t get me started on the cold marble floors that suck the heat out of my feet at Washington National Airport. Nothing more uncomfortable than cold, clammy feet. Wait, the middle seat is still most uncomfortable.
Anyway, all I’m asking is that the TSA treat the rest of us the way it treats little kids and old folks. Since 2011, youngsters under age 12 have been allowed to keep their ubiquitous light-up shoes on. And those age 75 and older have been able to keep their footwear on since 2012.
TSA spokesman David Castelveter could feel my pain — up to a point. “We would like to make it go away,” he said of the take-your-shoes-off rule for the rest of us. “But don’t lose sight of the fact there was the shoe bomber.” That would be Richard Reid, who caused panic on a Dec. 22, 2001, Miami-bound American Airlines flight from Paris when he tried to light a fuse in his shoe.
But there is a way around the shoe rule and others that would transport you back to the golden days of air travel when you could breeze through security and go right to your gate. It’s called TSA Pre. If the agency approves you after you’ve undergone its voluntary risk assessment, you get to keep your shoes, belt and jackets on, and your laptop and plastic goody bag of 3 oz. toiletries get to stay in your carry-on.
Looks like I better sign up for this thing.
Follow Jonathan Capehart on Twitter.